Thirty-two members of staff of West and Central Africa (WECA) region of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) were on Monday night presented with plaques, certificates and cash prizes ranging between US$5,000 and US$15,000 for excellent performance in the year 2008.
The awards, dubbed: MTN Yello Star - WECA Regional Awards 2009, is an annual event designed to reward deserving MTN staff members from the nine countries in the region for their excellent performance in the four main categories of Knowledge Sharing, MTN Values, Customer Care and Star Performance.
The competing countries are Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Liberia and Cameroon.
For each of the competing countries, there was a maximum of four winners, each of whom was given a choice of either receiving a cash prize of US$5,000 or learning tools to the tune of US$15,000 for their team at work.
For Ghana, the winners were Mr Martin Holm, Ms Cynthia Madjoub, Mr Kennedy Affum and Mr Michael Okoto.
Mr Holm was winner for Knowledge Sharing.
He single-handedly wrote an in-house manual for problem solving to help his colleagues deal with thorny technical challenges.
Ms Madjoub of the Quality Service Department won in the Customer Care category for going the extra mile to assist a customer when she used to work at the MTN call centre while Mr Affum and Mr Okoto emerged winners of the MTN Values (leadership, integrity, can do spirit, reliability and team work) and Star Performance categories respectively.
But the ultimate winners were the four who won US$15,000 and a ticket each to travel to South Africa later this year and compete in the inter-regional challenge against winners from the South and East African (SEA) region and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The four overall winners were Cynthia Madjoub from Ghana, for Customer Care, Godwin Idoko Ogala, a Business Analyst with MTN Nigeria for Knowledge Sharing, Inza Sangare of MTN, Cote d'Ivoire for Star Performance and Chika Onuoha Dimgba, a Field Engineer with MTN Cameroon for MTN Values.
Chika risked his life and spent hours fixing a problem at a base station amidst gunshots between fighting factions in that country.
Mawuena Adjo Dumor, Corporate Service Executive of MTN Ghana, said the Yello Star awards scheme was designed within the MTN Group to reward employees who did more than was required of them to bring the MTN values alive.
She noted that the refreshing feature about the awards was that the initial nominations were done by fellow employees through sms text messages and calls to an assigned toll free number.
Ms Dumor said winners were initially selected for each quarter of the year and out of the four for each quarter, a selection committee made the final selection of one from each category to make the four national winners.
She said besides the cash prizes, the overall winners would also undertake learning tours within the MTN Group to update their skills and develop their professional capacities even more.
The awards night, which was the second after the first one in Cameroon last year, attracted all the Chief Executives of MTN within the WECA region and some regional executives.
Ghana's Afro music star, Amanzeba and hip-life hit makers, Praye, were on hand to provide music.